Reconstitution and protein composition analysis of endocytic actin patches

Curr Biol. 2010 Nov 9;20(21):1890-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.10.016. Epub 2010 Oct 28.


Background: Clathrin-actin-mediated endocytosis in yeast involves the progressive assembly of at least 60 different proteins at cortical sites. More than half of these proteins are involved in the assembly of a branched network of actin filaments to provide the forces required for plasma membrane invagination.

Results: To gain insights into the regulation of endocytic actin patch dynamics, we developed an in vitro actin assembly assay using microbeads functionalized with the nucleation promoting factor (NPF) Las17 (yeast WASP). When incubated in a yeast extract, these beads assembled actin networks, and a significant fraction became motile. Multidimensional protein identification technology (MudPIT) showed that the recruitment of actin-binding proteins to these Las17-derived actin networks is selective. None of the proteins known to exclusively regulate the in vivo formation of actin cables or the actin contractile ring were identified. Our analysis also identified components of three other cortical structures, eisosomes, phosphoinositide kinase (PIK) patches, and the TORC2 complex, establishing intriguing biochemical connections between four different yeast cortical complexes. Finally, we identified Aim3 as a regulator of actin dynamics at endocytic sites.

Conclusions: WASP is sufficient to trigger assembly of actin networks composed selectively of actin patch proteins. These experiments establish that the protein composition of different F-actin structures is determined by the protein factor that initiates the network. The identification of binding partners revealed new biochemical connections between WASP-derived networks and other cortical complexes and identified Aim3 as a novel regulator of the endocytic actin patch.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism*
  • Actin Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Endocytosis / physiology*
  • Fungal Proteins / metabolism
  • Fungal Proteins / physiology
  • Microfilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Microfilament Proteins / physiology
  • Microspheres
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein / metabolism
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein / physiology
  • Yeasts / metabolism*
  • Yeasts / ultrastructure


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Microfilament Proteins
  • Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome Protein